chance Chance by Kem Nunn

Published February 18th, 2014 by Scribner

Buy this book at: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository / Books a Million

 

Synopsis:

In an intense tale of psychological suspense, a San Francisco psychiatrist becomes sexually involved with a female patient who suffers from multiple personality disorder, and whose pathological ex-husband is an Oakland homicide detective—from a Los Angeles Times Book Prize-winning author.Dr. Eldon Chance is a brilliant, lonely, forensic neuropsychologist with a long track record of getting involved with damaged, complicated women. While apartment hunting after separating from his wife, a series of bad decisions leads to Chance sleeping with a patient named Jaclyn Blackstone. Unfortunately her ex-husband is an Oakland homicide detective and the jealous type. Meanwhile, Dr. Chance meets a young man who goes by “D”; Chance believes he is a war-veteran, but he is in fact a deranged loner and self-styled Samurai skilled in the art of the blade. D is fascinated by Chance’s tales of his tormented and increasingly dangerous affair with Jaclyn and advises him that her ex-husband will find a way to destroy Chance.

As Detective Blackstone does indeed threaten the doctor, Chance and D plan a counter-strike. Meanwhile Chance continues his steamy affair with Jaclyn Blackstone (or is it one of her multiple personalities?) But the sexually voracious “Jackie Black” has a story that is far more complex and darker than he could have ever imagined…

Gritty, twisted, and impossible to put down, the surprises keep coming in Chance until the final page has been turned.

 

Rating: 1 star

 

Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Scribner!

 

I feel so deceived by this book, it is a classic case of false advertising. So for my review, I will go through the synopsis sentence by sentence and tell you how it was a lie.

 

 

In an intense tale of psychological suspense, a San Francisco psychiatrist becomes sexually involved with a female patient who suffers from multiple personality disorder, and whose pathological ex-husband is an Oakland homicide detective

 

First, that sentence is just too long, 33 words for one sentence. But anyway. Yes, the psychiatrist does sleep with a female patient, twice in the entire book. But it is not really his patient like the sentence implies. He sees her one time before referring her to another therapist. That’s the extent of their relationship until the doctor crosses every professional boundary there is to intentionally inject himself into her life. And ex-husband is subjective because they are still married but separated.

 

 

Dr. Eldon Chance is a brilliant, lonely, forensic neuropsychologist with a long track record of getting involved with damaged, complicated women.

 

I can’t really say whether Chance is lonely or not, all we hear about is his bitch of a soon to be ex-wife, his furniture and his obsession with Jaclyn. And I definitely wouldn’t call him brilliant because he violates the tenets of his profession in such a way as to potentially lose his license forever, puts himself in the line of fire of a maniac, and then commits several crimes. Sounds like something of an idiot actually. And if a track record can be made with a whole two instances over a lifetime, then sure he has a track record. But personally I think twice every does not really a pattern make.

 

While apartment hunting after separating from his wife, a series of bad decisions leads to Chance sleeping with a patient named Jaclyn Blackstone.

 

Apartment hunting…..sort of. He talks a lot about apartment hunting, but he doesn’t actually do it until about 300 pages in.

 

 

Unfortunately her ex-husband is an Oakland homicide detective and the jealous type.

 

Again, not an ex-husband….separated only. And Jaclyn claims he was horribly abusive and controlling, that’s just a tad bit different than jealous.

 

Meanwhile, Dr. Chance meets a young man who goes by “D”; Chance believes he is a war-veteran, but he is in fact a deranged loner and self-styled Samurai skilled in the art of the blade.

 

Because Dr. Chance is an idiot and just automatically believes everything that everyone tells him. Also he “meets” him when D creates pieces to attach to Chance’s furniture that will allow him to sell it as authentic instead of the duplicate that it is. We heard about that at length, for many chapters.

 

 

D is fascinated by Chance’s tales of his tormented and increasingly dangerous affair with Jaclyn and advises him that her ex-husband will find a way to destroy Chance.

 

Can you really call it an affair when they actually meet or speak less than 10 times, have sex only twice, and don’t really have any emotion toward each other except Chance’s obsession. Again, not an ex-husband, estranged husband.

 

 

As Detective Blackstone does indeed threaten the doctor, Chance and D plan a counter-strike.

 

Except that they have very little evidence that the detective has done anything except make a few veiled threats. So you have Crazy 1 and Crazy 2 plan to attack someone who hasn’t really done anything that they can prove. Great plan geniuses.

 

 

Meanwhile Chance continues his steamy affair with Jaclyn Blackstone (or is it one of her multiple personalities?)

 

Hardly steamy, the sex scenes were “fade to black…..so this is what happened during the time we didn’t see Chance. Vague details….vague details….his prostate is sore.” Wow, I am so turned on right now! /sarcasm  And who really cares if she has more than one personality, the author barely mentions it so why should it matter to me?

 

 

But the sexually voracious “Jackie Black” has a story that is far more complex and darker than he could have ever imagined…

 

Well….not really. Complex and dark if you imagine that she had a history that she didn’t tell Chance, to whom she spoke only a handful of times. Oh the horror! Also, this pissed me off. It implies that she is setting him up somehow, or has a larger plan at work than what she reveals, or is seducing him for some darker purpose. Except she isn’t. It’s exactly the way it appears to be.

 

 

Gritty, twisted, and impossible to put down, the surprises keep coming in Chance until the final page has been turned.

 

Gritty…not really, try boring and overloaded with details that don’t matter. Twisted, I guess so but only if we’re counting Chance’s psyche. Impossible to put down….actually I couldn’t wait to put it down. Surprises until the last page! The only surprise was that Chance got exactly what he wanted. The story ends and there are no repercussions at all for any of the bad choices he made. Gee, great, feel surprised? A HEA ending for a scumbag.